Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Overweight teen boys have increased risk of stroke in later life

Thursday Jun 29 2017

"Boys who get fat in their teenage years are much more likely to suffer a life-threatening stroke as an adult, experts today warned," The Sun reports. Swedish researchers suspect the association could be down to the effects of...

'Painless' flu vaccine skin patch shows promise

Wednesday Jun 28 2017

"A 'painless' sticking plaster flu jab that delivers vaccine into the skin has passed important safety tests in the first trial in people," BBC News reports. Results of a small phase 1 trial were encouraging, with no serious side effects reported…

Middle-aged office workers 'sit down more' than OAPs

Tuesday Jun 27 2017

"Middle-aged male office workers 'more sedentary than over-75-year-olds'," The Daily Telegraph reports. A survey in Scotland suggests previous studies may have underestimated sedentary behaviour in middle-age by not…

Can coffee machines and kettles spread toxic spores?

Monday Jun 26 2017

"Your coffee machine could be making you ill," the Mail Online reports, saying that steam released by the machine could be creating the perfect conditions for fungi to grow. The Sun reports a similar risk for kettles and showers…

Does paracetamol taken in pregnancy affect masculinity?

Friday Jun 23 2017

"Taking paracetamol when pregnant 'makes boys less manly, less aggressive and lowers their sex drive'," reports The Sun. But the alarming headline doesn't explain that the research was in mice, not humans. Researchers gave daily doses...

Sex link to older people's brain power, says study

Thursday Jun 22 2017

"Sex is the key to staying sharp in old age," reports the Mail Online after researchers found older people who have regular sex scored better on two of five brain tests. Participants who had sex at least...

'Contaminated air' on planes linked to health problems

Wednesday Jun 21 2017

"Toxic fumes in aircraft cabins could cause serious health problems, scientists warn:" reports The Sun. This is based on a UK study investigating air contamination on aircraft and its possible effects on the health of pilots and cabin crew…

Cholesterol-lowering jab 'shows promise' for heart disease

Tuesday Jun 20 2017

"Cholesterol-lowering jab to help prevent heart disease," reports BBC Online. The headline refers to a recent mouse study that aimed to see whether a new vaccine could reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease…

Blood test may show if prostate cancer treatment is working

Monday Jun 19 2017

"Prostate cancer blood test helps target treatment," BBC News reports. A study found a blood test could detect which men with advanced prostate cancer would benefit from new drug treatment. Researchers analysed...

Is a new flu pandemic just three mutations away?

Friday Jun 16 2017

"Just three mutations are needed to make bird flu a potential pandemic strain that could kill millions," is the alarming headline from the Mail Online. However, the chance of all three mutations occurring has been described as "relatively low"…

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We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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